The first European tour of the Anglo German Low Stars in 2001 (https://9pm-records.de/cosmos_1.htm) is, to quite some extent, responsible for what I'm doing now for many years. Formative. Touring, writing songs, collaborating with wonderful artists I come across. It was then when I met Andy Keeble first. Fiddler with Grae J Wall. My first longer tour performing solo and alongside like-minded songwriters/musicians in a loose and slightly chaotic collective. Most of them people I hardly knew or just heard of prior to meeting for our first show in Berlin. Among them Andy. Without him I suppose that whole four week stint wouldn't have been what it turned out in the end - an inspiring moment in life and the birth of numerous ideas, projects and - most of all - long-lasting friendships.
Andy made us smile when there was no reason to smile, crackin a joke when things got too tense and most importantly - encouraged me to keep on going my way as a performer/songwriter just by doing his thing and being an example. For four consequent years we were touring in that lose line-up varying from four to eight artists. As touring is what it is there were both magic and exhausting moments, good times and difficult times. What made me keep going was this cheerful chap from St Albans. What a friend.
After the last Low Stars tour we regularly met when I was playing the UK, either sharing stage with The Trailer Trash Orchestra, Los Chicos Muertos, popping into Bill's Blue Angel Acoustic Sunday or just hangin out and chatting about over a couple of drinks. So many memories... Playing pinball the whole night after a Kulmbach show, Andy showing me around gardens in Hertforshire he took care of, having my first ever full English with him in Portsmouth. The night we spent talking, talking, talking till dawn in that trailer he used to live in then somewhere near Luton.
I never gave up hope Andy would make it over to the mainland for a tour together. Revisiting the places we played before, exploring new ones, going crazy and making friends with new people. Spending time on the road with one of the best mates you can be on tour with. It's not going to happen. A bleedin shame.
I'm glad he found the time to contribute some fiddle to my last album early 2018, and we had the opportunity to perform together in London this year February. Means a lot to me. Hope they're well-stocked up where we'll probably meet next. There'll be time for a decent bottle to share, brother. I know you'd like that. Bye Andy.
Fürth, 12 July 2019